The 8 Dimensions of Wellness

Final Capstone Project by Casey Tiernan

Before working for the office for Student Life and Well-being, if you had asked me about the 8 dimensions of wellness, I would look at you puzzled. Now, I can easily describe each one in detail with ways you can maintain that specific dimension in your daily life. I had the opportunity to work and create my capstone with the office. The office of Student Life and Wellbeing identified emotional health, environmental health, physical health, social health, spiritual health, financial health, occupational health, and intellectual health as the 8 dimensions of wellness. Each one is important in order to address and maintain the needs of students at UMass Lowell. As a public health major, the 8 dimensions of wellness are very important to me. I want to use my degree for health education and health promotion so this opportunity to work for the Office of Student Life and Wellbeing was perfect for me.

As an intern, I was given creative freedom to design a project that the office would use for the future that could be given out to students. I created a brochure with general knowledge about the 8 dimensions of wellness as well as one way they can maintain each one on campus. I used the office colors and logos to tie everything together. I also created a flyer for each of the 8 dimensions with the definition that the office uses for each (on their website), additional campus resources and websites, and other ways they can maintain their wellbeing such as apps. Once I had designed everything, I pilot tested my project with students who signed up via the Instagram page. I sent out a survey looking for constructive feedback to then adjust anything that needed to be adjusted. I got great feedback from students which made me feel like I made a difference and expanded their knowledge on the different dimensions. The office passed along my project to the STARS team to also use with students. Knowing that my work will be used, and students will get to see it for years to come, makes me extremely happy. I am so grateful to have been able to intern for the office and get to use my creativity and public health skills.

Outdoor Activities to do this Summer

By: Yashvi Patel, Kennedy College of Sciences Well-being Leader

Below I talk about a few of many outdoor activities you can do this summer!

Hiking: It is a great form of exercise that confers many physical, mental, and social benefits. It strengthens bones and muscles, while also enhancing cardiovascular health, increasing strength and flexibility, and aiding in weight loss. Additionally, it has been demonstrated to have advantageous benefits on mental health. Spending time in nature can bring us back into the present moment and evoke a sense of calm and peace in our hectic lives. It offers social benefits as well. It can be an opportunity to connect with others or be an activity done in solitude. For me, I am always in my head and overthinking everything. Being in a serene, quiet environment and being able to focus on my surroundings helps quiet my mind and reduce my stress levels. My personal favorite is Mount Monadnock, a 3,165-foot mountain located in New Hampshire, having the highest peak in Southern New Hampshire. There are multiple trails that reach the breathtaking summit, but the White Dot Trail is the shortest with a 3.8 miles round trip and should take approximately 3-4 hours to complete. This is also recommended for beginners, being the easiest to climb and the least steep/rocky. I remember going on this trail with my entire family including my grandparents, and it wasn’t too strenuous for them. 

Kayaking/Canoeing: You can kayak nearby lakes and rivers. I like kayaking because I’m able to get exercise in, while also enjoying the scenery. Kayaking, like hiking, is good for your physical and emotional well-being. Additionally, it is a low impact activity, easy on the joints and bones, making it ideal sports for seniors or individuals with limited flexibility, individuals with arthritis or soft-tissue injuries, or those avoiding chances of mechanical injury. It can be done at varying levels of intensity, making it accessible to people of all ages and fitness abilities. My favorite canoe and kayak location is the Charles River in Boston. It is a nine-mile stretch of a river with no current, ideal for beginner kayakers. Downstream you will encounter colleges like Harvard, MIT, and BU, the Esplanade, and Boston skyline. The views are breathtaking!

Picnicking: Picnics are a great way to enjoy the outdoors and spend time with family friends. My friends and I recently went to Castle Island and marked our spot on a hill overlooking the river. We decorated cupcakes, played  uno, had a photoshoot with flowers, took some aesthetic polaroid pictures, had chips and drinks, and blasted some music. We went the weekend after school ended, so it was a great way to relax and unwind from the craziness of finals week. It is a relatively low-cost activity that requires minimal equipment and can be done almost anywhere and at any time. You can have a picnic in a park, at the beach, or even in your own backyard. You can play games, read a book, or just enjoy the scenery.

Beach Yoga Beach yoga is a fun and adventurous experience. I found that it helps you connect with nature and find a sense of peace and calm. It is a sensory stimulating activity, being able to hear the waves, feel the sand, and smell the fresh ocean air. Yoga is a great form of exercise that can improve flexibility, strength, balance, and cardiovascular health. Yoga on the beach adds an extra layer of  difficulty, as the sand bears an unstable surface, so you end up engaging more muscles, which helps improve balance. When I was studying abroad in San Sebastian, Spain, we had a yoga instructor offer a beach yoga class in the early morning. In that moment, I felt like nothing before- as if I were one with the world. The vibes were just surreal. I would recommend booking a beach yoga class or just doing whatever bit of yoga you know by the beach- the experience is priceless and totally worth it.

Viral TikTok dessert combinations you might want to try this summer

By: Yashvi Patel, Kennedy College of Sciences Well-being Leader

Below are two fun TikTok recipes that you can try if you have a sweet tooth, like me, and like trying food combinations that may seem like they don’t go together. Trust me, these are both surprisingly so good and addicting!

The fruit rollup ice-cream hack:

For this recipe, you need a fruit rollup, a plate, mango/fruity sorbet or vanilla ice-cream, and a spoon. You will unwrap a fruit rollup. The first two steps are to lay it flat on a plate and scoop ice-cream or sorbet onto the center of the fruit rollup, seen in the image below. Then, you should wrap the fruit roll up around it like a burrito to create a crunchy sandwich. I say crunchy because the ice-cream/sorbet should freeze instantly (within seconds!) and there is a satisfying crunch factor as you bite into it. This has become my guilty pleasure and I go through boxes of fruit roll ups just to be able to indulge in this snack. I have experimented with both vanilla and chocolate ice-cream, but personally I would say that it tastes better with fruity ice-cream or even better a sorbet because the coating is sour/fruity. The flavors will just blend more smoothly if you get a fruity flavor. Fair warning: SUPER addictive and EXTREMELY sweet, so try not to be me and eat this every night. I’ve been trying to limit myself to one a week. Rating: 9.5/10 (probably the best invention ever)

Wannabe sour candy hack:

I’m a fanatic of sour candy, but I always feel guilty after I eat it. With the next recipe, I feel like I’m putting something good into my body, but also having the illusion that I’m eating sour candy. Jell-O coated grapes are one of the best alternatives to my sour candy cravings. When this craving occurs, you can indulge in this delicious treat that is slightly healthier. This recipe requires only two simple ingredients: a box of sugar free Jell-O and 2 cups of green grapes. (You can also kick this recipe up a notch by trying a different variety of grapes). For this recipe, you will pick and wash a serving of green grapes and let them sit for a couple mins. Making sure they are still wet, transfer them into a large Ziploc bag. Pour the dry Jell-O into the bag and give it a good shake to coat the grapes. Remove them from the bag and place them onto a plate or into a bowl and pop them into the freezer. Let them freeze for half an hour and enjoy! Like the fruit roll up ice-cream, this treat is VERY addicting and should be consumed in moderation. RATING: 8.5/10.

Build a habit this summer

By: Yashvi Patel, Kennedy College of Sciences Well-being Leader

Summer is a great time to develop healthy habits or change poor habits. Recently, I learned about the five stages of the transtheoretical model of behavior change that I can accredit for getting me to engage in exercising consistently.

The five stages in the transtheoretical model of behavior change are: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. This model should work for any type of health behavior- inactivity being one of them.

Before I started exercising consistently, I was at the first stage of this model, characterized by a lack of intention to change and unaware that not engaging in exercise was a problem behavior. I moved into the contemplation stage where I acknowledged that my inactivity was a problem and I wanted to stop.

To get the second stage, contemplation, I developed self-efficacy where I would contemplate the changes I wanted to see (desirable appearance, better mental and physical health) and knew that if I took control of this whole process and believe, I would carry through. For me to get past the contemplation stage, I incorporated processes that would increase my low self-efficacy. I learned that people’s cognitions about their health habits are important in producing behavior change. I wanted to feel like I was in control of the process and any associated consequences, and I reconstructed my cognition. I modified my internal monologues to promote physical activity. To be able to accomplish this, I charted down my negative self-thoughts such as the constant belief that “I cannot do it.” and crossed out the “not.” These positive self-talks slowly turned into affirmations that I would recite during and before my workouts. It was important for me to contemplate the desirable changes before I put my intervention plan into effect. I learned that there are positive mental, physical, and physiological outcomes for this behavioral change. Exercise is known to reduce anxiety, stress, and depression, enhance cognitive function, and improve academic performance. It also increases metabolism, improves sleep, and reduces the risk factors for chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.

The next stage was preparation where I intended to make small modifications to my behavior. I bought running shoes, weights, and gym equipment, and saved workout YouTube videos that allowed me to develop an exercise regime. Furthermore, I learned that 2.5-5 hours of moderate-intensity activity is recommended per week. Moderate-intensity activities are suggested to increase heart rate that includes brisk walking, mowing the lawn, and housework/domestic chores such as mopping and vacuuming. I prepared myself for more vigorous physical activity by engaging in household chores, taking up more chores than usual, and going out for a walk once a day. These were slight modifications in my daily life that allowed me to get to the more intensive activities.

Next was the action stage where I intently modified my behavior and adopted this new habit. In this stage, I developed a workout routine, and established contingency contracting (I had friends and family hold me accountable through rewards or punishments. For example, if I went to a fancy dinner but skipped a workout, I would stay in for the weekend). I also took advantage of the fact that some of my family and friends are into fitness. Having a gym buddy made it more likely for me to adhere to my intervention plan. Whenever I could, I would go for a jog with my dad and grandpa. Cardio is known to strengthen the heart and lungs and reduce fatigue. My friend goes to the UML Campus Rec Center at 7 am every morning. I started by joining her every other day before my morning classes that started at 9 am.  She typically works on different areas of her body every day, which worked in my favor as I got an all-encompassing workout regime. I would write down four or five exercises that I liked the most so that I could create my own workout based on my likes and target areas. I also knew pre/post-workout stretches that I learned from doing track in high school and I knew the importance of stretching in preventing injury and maintaining a wide range of motions, so I incorporated those as well.

The last stage is centered around maintenance. It stresses the importance of continuity in healthy habits and the prevention of relapse. I developed a set of coping mechanisms for other risk factors that could potentially bring me back into inactivity. Personally, when I have too many exams and homework, I don’t have the motivation to engage in physical activity and use that time to study instead. I helped myself gain time management skills so I could have time for my workout routine. I needed to block off one-two hours every morning for physical activity and would not budge around that. I reminded myself of the importance of being consistent in working out every day or every other day because it’s hard to get back into it once you take a little break. I would also constantly remind myself of the long-term goals of working out (abs, muscles, endurance, and strength) because results are not instant but rather take months or even years to achieve. It brings me back to the idea of self-efficacy and being in control of the entire process from start to finish. For me to declare it as a healthy habit, I needed to be consistent for at least 6 months. Once I make it past six months, I still need to maintain this habit, so I don’t go back to square one. Currently, I have been working out for 5 months and I am already seeing changes and notice I have so much more energy throughout the day!

I hope this model can help you develop your own healthy habits this summer!

Benefits of physical activity. Benefits of Physical Activity | Health Promotion | Michigan State University. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2022, from 

Examples of moderate and vigorous physical activity. Obesity Prevention Source. (2017, May 8). Retrieved November 28, 2022, from

Watermelon as a Summer Staple

By: Haiya Patel, Kennedy College of Sciences Well-being Leader

What is the first memory that comes to mind when someone says the word watermelon? Did you ever have watermelon by the beach or poolside as a child? When someone says watermelon, I usually imagine a warm sunny day on the beach. I have a very distinct memory of enjoying watermelon on the beach with my family. Because of that, watermelon is a nostalgic fruit for me.

Watermelon is one of the fruits that correlates closely to the warm weather of summer as it brings a vibrant color accompanied by fresh flavors, in addition to immaculate hydration. However, eating watermelon alone can be boring, so pairing it in dishes can allow for a variation in the summer. One of my personal favorites is watermelon and feta salad. The fresh flavor of watermelon cubes can be paired perfectly with the salty crumbled feta cheese, some finely chopped mint leaves, and a drizzle of lemon. The watermelon and feta salad can be consumed as a snack or appetizer as it is light in volume, but also is dense with fresh flavors from the mint and watermelon, with hints of sourness and saltiness from lemon and feta cheese. The watermelon cubes and feta crumbles can also be enjoyed by simply drizzling some balsamic glaze, or some honey on the skewers.

Another variation of watermelon that really tops the summer recipes is watermelon as a dessert. My personal favorite is watermelon sorbet. Scooping the watermelon sorbet out of a cone shaped container often brings back nostalgic emotions from my childhood. For me, enjoying watermelon sorbet is a fun summer treat that makes me feel like a child all over again. The recipe for the watermelon sorbet is simple, but versatile, as it can be customized based on preferences. I enjoy sweet and sour combinations for my sorbet, so I use watermelon, sugar, lemon juice, and strawberries. The volume of each ingredient can be curated based on your taste preferences. Then, you blend it all together and freeze it for a few hours. Honey or other sugar substitutes can also be used as a healthier alternative for sugar.

For times that I am in rush, my favorite way to utilize watermelon is to make a watermelon drink. Personally, I enjoy the combination of lemonade and watermelon together, so I often lean towards watermelon lemonade. The recipe for the watermelon lemonade calls for watermelon and lemon juice blended with few mint leaves and about a spoon full of sugar or any other sugar substitutes.

Regardless of how you consume it, watermelon is packed with hydration, versatile, and its flavor often brings back nostalgic memories. I hope these recipes help you enjoy more watermelon this summer!

How to move from failure – a piece of mind from someone who has walked this path

By: Fahad Alden, College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Well-being Leader

Link to the picture:

From the young age of 8 until now, I have battled to overcome my hardest internal struggle of depression. After many years and therapy sessions, I can now feel like things have somewhat improved. However, I do find my depression often looming back to me in the same way as waves in the ocean often come out of nowhere and with great power.  I sometimes find it hard to predict and difficult to stop these sensations before they emerge, but I am proud of how far I’ve come in this journey. 

So, today, I decided to open my heart and soul and share my hardest failure with you- failing the MCAS.  I  hope that my experience will inspire you    to move from the failures you’ve faced so that you become a stronger, resilient individual. 

It feels inauthentic to me if I were to use my voice to only share stories of success – those in which I held positions  and triumphed through. My journey wasn’t smooth. Instead, my life has been filled with plenty of downs, failures, and shortcomings. So, there’s really no better way to begin my story than by sharing one from the very beginning.

I was at a young professionals’ event a couple years ago, and I was trying to mingle with others.  Even now, I can still  feel the discomfort of just staying there, completely frozen, not being able to utter a single word. All the others spoke about their reasons for choosing the colleges they attended and the many extra activities they participated in. Some were talking about being chess club presidents, while others were boasting about their success as valedictorian. 

Even though I am elected official and involved in student government , I never felt I belonged in those circles.  . Then they began discussing their MCAS scores. They started talking about whether or not the MCAS was necessary and began comparing their scores.  They turned to me, and asked what I got. To sayI was already not fitting in was understatement. I felt nervous sharing that I actually failed the MCAS.   Out of nowhere, my mind began to flash past memories, and I was transported back to the day I found out I failed . 

Overwhelmed with anxiety , I barely gathered enough strength to excuse myself and  lock myself  in the bathroom to cry. I thought to myself, do I even belong out there? I am nowhere as intelligent or sophisticated as them.I eventually collected myself by remembering what I learned from that experience and joined back in.

So, you must be wondering: how did I overcome this negative experience and turn it around? 

I was often a victim of the typical school bullies – those I am sure many of you encountered as well. Being also a victim of  physical abuse, I often used dissociation as an escape strategy. Let me paint a simple picture if you wonder how my dissociations worked: I created a world in my head where I was in the mountains, surrounded by a community of loving people and animals. It got me away from my current reality. 

 This all came with a cost, and as I got older, I  struggled to take control of it, oftentimes trying to force myself to come back to reality and finish my schoolwork .With my learning disability on top of the  dissociations, powering through was extremely challenging throughout school. Trying to control it at times often felt like i was aMatador taking hold of bull

Fast forward to the Math MCAS, what I thought was the biggest failure of my life. As I began the exam, the voice that had been quietly whispering to me all these years was now screaming loud inside my head. I struggled to focus. I felt panic slowly start to take over me, and I when I received the results, I couldn’t help but come face to face with my biggest fear: Failure.

 From that point on, my healing journey began, and I slowly uncovered my own  path  to overcoming failure.

  • Step 1: Healing

I’ve learned that the very first step to changing your mindset is allowing yourself to heal.  In order to do that, you need to let yourself feel every emotion – just as I did.    

Although I was quite young then, I allowed myself to feel everything because I knew I had to in order to move on. Whether that emotion was anger, sadness or desperation, I allowed myself to drown in all of it. 

I started writing in a journal and made sure that I put every feeling I felt down in words. I can assure you that once you start labelling your thoughts and emotions, no matter how devastating they are, you will be able to move past them. Hiding them won’t help – it will just push them down, and make it harder for you to overcome them. 

I also recommended sharing your feelings with a close friend or circle of people.  Sharing your concerns is better than keeping them concealed, as it’s the only way to experience revival. 

  • Step 2: Self-compassion

This means that you need to be kind to yourself. Remember that we’re all human-not some kind of machine that isn’t supposed to make mistakes. Maybe you talk these things through with a friend. Or maybe you try writing letters to yourself regarding the  failure you faced and the emotions that go along with it.Make sure that you write these to yourself as though you are writing to a friend.Think of how you would console your friend and what would you say to uplift them. This allows you to see the failure from a caring and nurturing perspective. 

When I make mistakes, I often think back to the quote that helps me pick myself up : “If you trip, does it mean that you cannot walk?” Ask yourself the same question next time you come across some hardship in your life, and let the answer inspire you to pick yourself up and move forward. 

  • Step 3: Learning

I get that it’s always easy to put the blame on others. I used to be filled with deep  jealousy of the other kids whose parents could afford to send them to tutoring . 

My parents weren’t really wealthy. In fact, they barely had money to make ends meet. My dad for the longest time had to  work three jobs just so we could live in Bedford. Life unfortunately is unfair, and becoming bitter makes you unable to enjoy the privileges that you do have.  

I decided to learn from this and changed the way I looked at school and life in general. I signed up for courses naturally, setting aside those in which I knew I would struggle.  I also began researching and working with my therapist to work on tools to help combat my issues. You are never able to decide what happens to you, but you have the responsibility to take measures to help yourself, not just for yourself but for others around you as well. 

  • Step 4: Acceptance

If you want to grow into a more resilient person, then you need to accept yourself as you are. People often fall into the trap of comparing themselves to others, wishing their lives looked more like theirs.. And this is probably the biggest mistake you can make. I used to belittle myself, feeling like I was not even close to the capacities of my friends who were successful students and entrepreneurs. But as I got older, I began to notice and accept my strengths, letting them guide my way through life. These are the things that make me authentic – for which I pride myself on today. 

Although I’ll probably never be able to play chess, do calculus,  be sophisticated enough to cut a steak correctly,or identify cashmere, that is fine. My strengths come out in storytelling and my ability to connect with people. 

I strongly  believe in using darker experiences of bullying, abuse and failure and translating them into good.  When I have taken my own experiences of abuse, bullying, or self loathing and turned them into a script, podcast episode or writing piece, I felt an element of release-A sense of being reborn and free . 

I challenge you to accept your experiences and share them. Whether they are in tangible forms such as writing or using it to extend empathy to someone else.

I now know that the words written in this blog are the things that make me authentic.. 

Remember, failure is inevitable. What matters is how you look at it – as a setback or as an opportunity for improvement. 

Writing this story of how to overcome failure wasn’t easy. Being an immigrant, I was taught to keep things to myself and be weary of what I tell others. But I decided to go for it- to help high school and college students like you learn that hardships are fleeting. 

So, learn from my experience and push yourself to become a better version of who you are today.

If this spoke to you, take some time to read through the rest of our blog – you might discover another story that speaks to you.

Keep Calm, Finals Are Coming: Tips for Staying Stress-Free

By: Medi Woldemichael, Manning School of Business Well-being Leader

As finals week draws near, it’s natural for college students to feel overwhelmed by the pressure to perform well. While it’s essential to study and prepare for exams, it’s equally important to keep your stress levels in check. This blog will share some tips to help you manage stress and find balance during the last stretch of the semester. Remember, you’ve made it this far; you can conquer finals week too!

Plan & Break Down Material: Start by creating a study schedule that outlines your study sessions, breaks, and other commitments. Prioritize tasks based on deadlines and difficulty levels to maintain focus. Break down your study material into smaller, digestible chunks, focusing on understanding key concepts and making connections between topics. This approach will make your workload feel less daunting and help you track your progress effectively.

Seek Support & Collaborate: Don’t hesitate to ask for help from professors, tutors, or classmates and if you’re struggling with specific concepts. Forming a study group can be an effective way to share knowledge, clarify doubts, and provide mutual support during finals week. Collaborative learning not only reduces stress but also helps to reinforce your understanding of the material.

Maintain a Healthy Routine: Take care of your physical and mental well-being by eating nutritious meals, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep each night. Exercise regularly to help you stay focused and alert. Establishing a healthy routine will keep you energized and prepared for the challenges of finals week.

Take Breaks & Practice Mindfulness: Schedule short breaks during your study sessions to prevent burnout. Engage in activities that help you relax and recharge, such as listening to music, reading a book, or taking a walk. Practice mindfulness exercises, like deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and meditation, to help you stay calm and focused during stressful times. Even just a few minutes of practice can make a significant difference in your stress levels.

Focus on the Process & Keep Perspective: Concentrate on the effort you’re putting into your studies and trust that you’re doing your best, rather than worrying about your final grades. Focusing on the process will help alleviate anxiety and lead to better outcomes. Remember, finals are just one aspect of your college experience and setbacks can be valuable learning opportunities. Keep things in perspective and use any challenges as motivation for growth and improvement.

While finals can be stressful, they don’t have to define your entire college experience. By implementing these tips, you’ll be better equipped to manage stress and stay focused during the most challenging times. Remember, it’s essential to find balance, stay organized, and maintain a positive attitude. Good luck and may the force of calm be with you!

Supporting Your Loved Ones During Mentally Difficult Times

By: Fajr Zahid, Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences Well-being Leader

It can be very difficult to watch a loved one, whether it be a family member, close friend, or romantic partner, go through a tough time in their life. Whether they are struggling with their mental health, physical health, or both, it is important to be able to recognize the warning signs and help the person work towards improving their health and well-being.

In comparison to physical illness, which usually has distinct, visible symptoms and changes in the body, mental illness is often harder to recognize and treat. It also holds a greater stigma around it, which can discourage those who are affected from finding and receiving help. Although every individual demonstrates their struggles in a different way, there are specific signs that may indicate if someone in your life is experiencing mental illness and needs help. Some of these signs include:

  1. Extreme mood changes (highs and lows)
  2. Excessive feelings of worry or fear
  3. Low energy and tiredness
  4. Changes in sleep pattern/difficulty sleeping
  5. Withdrawal from loved ones and engaging in isolating behaviors
  6. Inability to cope with stress or daily hassles
  7. Changes in eating habits
  8. Misusing or abusing substances such as alcohol, marijuana, or pills
  9. Excessively angry, violent, or hostile behavior
  10. Suicidal thoughts and/or actions

If you suspect that your loved one is struggling with their mental health and well-being, or if their mental illness seems to be getting worse, understand that there are many ways in which you can offer them assistance and resources to help them better cope with these struggles.

Try to educate yourself on the hardships that the person you are concerned about is experiencing. If they have shared with you their past struggles with mental illness, it can help to educate yourself on the specific disorder(s) they are dealing with and act according to what you have learned. Do not be afraid to start a conversation with them and address the concerns you have about their wellness. Although the idea of doing this can be intimidating, and you may be worried about how they will react to it, understand that you are doing it out of a loving and caring place. When speaking to them, make sure to be patient, understanding, non-judgmental, and a good listener. Also, try to encourage them to meet with a professional. This could be a counselor, therapist, psychiatrist, or their primary care physician – whichever they are most comfortable with. Experts such as these can provide resources for the person you are concerned about, and assist in creating a plan to help them overcome their mental struggles.

UMass Lowell’s Office of Student Life & Well-being provides a variety of resources for students who are struggling with their health and well-being. If the person you are worried about is a student at UMass Lowell, here are some mental health resources that could be beneficial to them:
● Counseling Services:
● Well-being Leaders:
● Mental Health Crisis Hotline: 855-890-2879

While it can be really saddening and challenging to watch someone you love and care for go through a mentally tough time, remember that there are many ways in which they can be helped. Try to remain positive and hopeful during difficult times such as these, and be sure to remind your loved one that their presence is valuable. Also, while it is very important to be there for someone when they are struggling, do not forget to also look out for your own health and well-being in the midst of trying to help another person improve theirs.


How the way your parents treated you as a child impacts your life

By: Alejandra Malaga Walters, Francis College of Engineering Well-being Leader

The relationship between parents and a child is among the most significant in a person’s life. It affects the way you view people and relationships. The parental relationship is one of the earliest connections a child has, and it definitely sets the bar for every relationship thereafter. Some people think we are born with specific genes identifying our personality, but let’s not forget that different environmental factors also have an impact on personal development. Parenting is probably the most fundamental one because it shapes the child’s temperament and character. There are many ways to explain your relationship with your parents, but we’ll describe the two more common ones.

The more attentive and expressive your parents are, the more open & sociable you might be in the future. It’s clear that one of the most important things you need from your parents is love. When you are loved by your parents in childhood, you know what love is and how it can be shown. In this case, you won’t be afraid to show your love to other people who will come into your life over time. Parent-child communication influences how open you are in future relationships. There is a golden rule: better parent-child communication means fewer psychological and behavioral problems for the child in adulthood.

The more neglectful your parents are, the more attention you will seek & demand in adulthood. If you are lacking sufficient attention from one or both of your parents at an early age, you may often find yourself struggling for a romantic interest’s attention and often have trouble in your love life. Some psychologists claim that inattentive and emotionally dramatic parents tend to raise children with lower self-esteem, children who need more attention and feel more alienated, hostile, or even anti-social. In other words, children who were feeling neglected can very often grow up to be needy adults.

The relationship you had with your parents growing up may have had an impact on the way you see and treat others in adulthood. It can be helpful to identify what kind of relationship you had with your parents and look for patterns of how that is influencing your adult life.  You can’t change the past, but you can work to heal your inner child and build a better future. You can build the best version of yourself. 

Source: How Your Relationship With Your Parents Affects Your Life | Wealthy Gorilla

How to practice Self-Care over the Summer

By: Angel Molekunnel, Manning School of Business Well-being Leader

Summer is an excellent time to prioritize your well-being and focus on self-care.

Here are 4 ways to practice self-care over the summer:

  1. Make the most of the nice weather by spending time outside. Take a stroll, a hike, a bike ride, or a swim. Physical activity on a regular basis can help avoid chronic illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It can also aid in the maintenance of a healthy weight, the strengthening of muscles and bones, and the improvement of general physical fitness. Summer offers several options for outdoor activities such as swimming, hiking, bicycling, and sports. Participating in these activities can enhance physical exercise while also providing mental and emotional advantages. Here are some suggestions for exercising self-care throughout the summer. To keep hydrated in the heat, drink plenty of water and consume meals high in water content, such as fruits and vegetables.
  2. To avoid sunburn and skin damage, use sunscreen, hats, and protective clothes. Wearing sunscreen throughout the summer is essential for protecting your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Overexposure to UV radiation can result in sunburn, accelerated aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer. Sunscreen works by absorbing or deflecting UV radiation from the sun, preventing them from accessing the skin.
  3. Take pauses and give yourself time to rest and recharge whether you’re working or studying throughout the summer. To alleviate stress and promote mental health, try meditation, yoga, or other mindfulness techniques. Practicing meditation throughout the summer can offer several health and wellness advantages. Summer may be a stressful and anxious season, and meditation might help you handle it. Regular meditation practice has been demonstrated to lessen cortisol levels, which is a stress hormone. In the summer, long days and high temperatures might make it difficult to obtain a decent night’s sleep. However, studies have shown that meditation can assist improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia.
  4. Spending time with friends and family, as well as joining a social group or club, is vital for mental health. Socializing can help you feel better and lessen stress and anxiety. Time spent with friends and family may create a sense of belonging and support, which is especially crucial during difficult times. Summer is a season for discovery and adventure, and connecting with others can provide fresh opportunity to do new activities. Whether it’s attempting a new sport, visiting a new location, or learning a new skill, connecting with people may enhance these experiences.

Take a trip or arrange a staycation if feasible to get away from your routine and discover new locations or activities. Remember that self-care is taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental health, so prioritize what works best for you and have a wonderful summer!

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● Edick, E. (2022, October 4). 7 ways to practice self-care during summer break. Active Minds.
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● Fishel, S. (2022, October 1). Prioritizing your mental health with Summer Self-care. Learning
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● SoundMind Wellness. (2021, June 18). 5 tips for practicing summer self-care. SoundMind Wellness.
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